Bradley County Commission vice chairman Jeff Yarber died Sunday morning of what appeared to be natural causes, according to the Bradley County Sheriff's Office. He was 49.
The news was confirmed by sheriff's spokesman Adam Lewis.
Deputies responded to Yarber's home at 11:50 a.m. Sunday and found the District 5 representative unresponsive. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
"I have known Jeff Yarber for years, both personally and professionally," Bradley County Sheriff Steve Lawson said in a news release. "I have worked with him closely in his role as Chairman of the Law Enforcement Committee here in Bradley County. His service and dedication will be unmatched in our community and his death represents a huge loss. My friend was much more than a public servant, he was a dedicated and loving father as well. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family today."
10th Judicial District Attorney General Steve Crump also offered his thoughts:
"My heart is broken for Jeff's family. Jeff has been my friend for more than 20 years. His service to this community has been exemplary and his leadership will be missed," Crump said in the release. "I share Sheriff's Lawson's feeling that we lost much more than a community leader. We lost a friend today."
County commissioners have a work session set Monday night at the Bradley County Courthouse, according to the panel's calendar.
Funeral arrangements will be announced when finalized, according to Lewis.